Olivia Martin and Janelle Schaefer are the newest girl members of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s Board of Directors. While comprised mostly of adults, the Board maintains two seats for girls.
Olivia is a Girl Scout Senior in Troop 4990 and a sophomore at Mary Institute and Country Day School (MICDS) while Janelle is a Girl Scout Ambassador in Troop 1357 and a junior at Mehlville High School.
“We are so proud and excited to welcome Olivia and Janelle to the Board,” said CEO Bonnie Barczykowski. “We look forward to the insight they bring as we shape the future of Girl Scouts.”
Olivia outlined her plans to make a positive impact on the organization.
“I would like to make Girl Scouting better for girls by first focusing on older Girl Scouts and addressing issues like retention, time management and healthy relationships,” she said. “I would also like to inspire younger girls to continue participating in Girl Scout camps and activities so that they can earn badges and awards. A way to focus on older Girl Scouts is to have more programs and things for them to do.”
Olivia is proud to have earned her Girl Scout Silver Award in 2013 and she completed her second term as Girl Congress Secretary-elect. Girl Congress is an opportunity for experienced Girl Scouts to enhance the Girl Scouting experience for all girls.
“I feel that is an honor to be elected to the Board as a teenager,” she said. “Being on the Board will give me the opportunity to make a difference on issues that I am passionate about, such as leadership development and girl empowerment.
“After I graduate from high school, I would like to attend Vanderbilt University and major in biomedical engineering,” Olivia said. “Very long-term, I would like to either develop prosthetic limbs or conduct stem cell research.”
Other Girl Scout programs Olivia participated in include Project Anti-Violence Education (PAVE) Camp, April Showers and the #GIRLSWITHPOWER series.
Janelle serves as the current Girl Congress President; she has served as a summer volunteer leader at Girl Scout Day Camp since 2009; she is a member of the Mehlville High School Honor Band; KONNECT, an underclassmen mentorship program; and an A+ Program Tutor. She is also involved in her high school’s French club and a member of its National Honor Society chapter.
“I plan to make Girl Scouting better for all Girl Scouts by getting as many girls involved as possible,” Janelle said. “Camps are one of my favorite parts of the Girl Scout experience and it makes girls more confident and they learn new skills. My dream would be to get more girls involved in camping.
“Being elected to the Board as a teenager has made me realize my role in the Girl Scout World,” said Janelle. “I have been involved in Girl Scouts for 10 years and I have gained so much confidence and leadership. I have amazed myself. I am extremely proud that I have received such professional positions as the President of Girl Congress and a girl delegate on the Board of Directors.
“After high school, I plan on attending college at Missouri Baptist University with the First Generation Scholarship,” she continued. “I'd like to become a genetic counselor and will always stay involved with Girl Scouts as I become a lifetime member.”
Both girls are honored to serve as 2014 National Convention Delegates in Salt Lake City, Utah in October and Olivia anticipates traveling on her first destinations voyage, “Costa Rica-Venture and Volunteering” in December. Girl Scout destinations are travel experiences ranging from two days to three weeks for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors. Trips are facilitated by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and hosted by individual Girl Scout councils, GSUSA and contracted organizations.
The Board approved Olivia during its Spring Representative Assembly meeting on May 3 while the organization’s bylaws permitted Janelle to gain her seat. Olivia replaces Jazmyn Ferguson on the Board and Janelle replaces Maura Higgins.